Shanghai,a city that is unforgettable once you see
Situated in the middle of the Pacific coast of the Eurasia Continent, Shanghai is like a sparkling pearl on the edge of a dark-blue velvet.
It is here that the Yangtze River --the longest river in China and a cradle of Chinese civilization --joins the sea. Such a unique location has made Shanghai the largest port in China and a city of diverse cultures.
Through generations of hard work and struggles against foreign oppression, the people of Shanghai have turned what was once a unknown fishing village 700 years ago into a modern metropolis in Asia.
After the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, especially in the past 20 years of reform and opening, Shanghai has moved into a track of rapid development and is undergoing tremendous changes.
The famous Nanjing Road built in the city's colonial era has become a pedestrian street for shopping, sightseeing and recreation. Pudong, once a rural backwater, has been transformed into the central business district full of skyscrapers. The downtown People's Square now features three new landmarks --People's Mansion, Shanghai Grand Theater and Shanghai Museum. Many of the city's poor neighborhoods are gone, replaced by new high-rises or parks. The city boasts an advanced transport network made up of raised highways, subways and two international airports, and new museums, libraries and theaters are enriching people's life. Housing shortage problem has been solved as people move into spacious new apartments with a garden setting. The city's traditional industries have given way to high-growth sectors, such as steel, automobile, petrochemical, finance, foreign trade and high-tech industries. Shanghai also has a number of prestigious universities that combine teaching with research, as well as many specialized schools and institutes. The city's scientists are engaged in research at the world's advanced level, and her high-tech parks and incubators have attracted thousands of Chinese students and scholars from abroad.
The old Shanghai is fading and paling;
And a newborn Shanghai is rising --Like the reared head of a dragon crouching in the Yangtze River region.
Shanghai today is not only the beautiful home of local Chinese, but also an ideal abode for expatriates. The city's fast development is illustrated by these figures:
- Per capita GDP has reached US$4,218;
- Domestic and foreign financial institutions in Shanghai total 3,300;
- It has 70 deep-water berths for ships over 10,000 tonnage and 16 container ports with a handling capacity of 5.61 million TEUs a year;
- Foreign trade grossed US$54.7 billion in 2000.Imports and exports through Shanghai Customs hit US$109.3 billion;
- Shanghai has attracted 27,900 investment projects from 91 countries and regions, involving US$94.2 billion of contracted investment. Actual investment was US$50.1 billion;
- More than half of the world's Top 500 companies have invested in Shanghai. Some have moved their regional headquarters to the city as well.;
- The average life expectancy for the 16 million Shanghainese is 76.71 years for men and 80.8 years for women;
- Retail sales in 2000b totalled US$2.56 billion. Per capita disposable income was US$1,429,while the bank savings of urban and rural residents reached US$30.78 billion;
- Per capita living space is 11.8 square meters in urban districts and 53.6 square meters in suburban districts;
- Shanghai has more than 5.48 million telephone subscribers and 2.02 million Internet users.
If the above figures are ample indicators of the city's development in recent years, the construction projects listed below will outline the world-class metropolis Shanghai is aiming for.
- A 650-kilometer highway network, involving US$4.88 billion, is under construction in suburban Shanghai which will link Shanghai up with highways from the neighboring provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui;
- Construction has started on the US$268-million Lupu Bridge and a large vehicle tunnel under the Huangpu River. Before long, Pudong and Puxi will be connected by six bridges and six tunnels;
- A deep-water port with 100 berths is under construction in an island southeast of Shanghai. When it is completed, Shanghai Port will be able to receive container ships of any size, with an annual handling capacity of 15 million TEUs;
- A high-speed raiwayl linking the Pudong International Airport and the Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone is being built, and the world's most advanced maglev trains will begin commercial operation in Shanghai in the near future;
- Projects to switch from coal gas supply to natural gas supply and to increase the latter to 96 million cubic meters a day are under way in Shanghai;
- An integrated information network for the so-called "dynamic urban management'' is being built, based on Shanghai's GIS (Geographical Information System), surveillance, and emergency command systems;
- Five industrial bases for the manufacture of cars, steel, IT products, power generating equipment, and petrochemicals are taking shape in the city;
- New policies have been drawn to attract more overseas investment;
- A whole set of measures are being implemented to develop the private sector;
- An ambitious scheme is unfolding to further speed up the construction of housing ...
These projects, when completed, will add to the glamour of Shanghai --a city brimming with energy and vitality, which are also reflected in her people. As you walk around Shanghai, you will find elderly people enjoy life in the park, young people dating on the street, children playing in the neighborhood ground, and commuters hurrying between home and workplace. Here, you can feel the pulse of a changing society, which is embracing the tide of globalisation and technological revolution. Shanghai is attracting more and more visitors from abroad and is making friends everywhere.
Shanghai has dazzled the world with her great achievement. She is moving by leaps and bounds toward her goal of becoming one of the top cities in the world.
Shanghai, the historical port on the west coast of the Pacific, is gradually merging with the global economy. She is growing in strength and looking prettier each day!
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